I really wanted to make this album work, but it somewhat failed in pleasing my musical needs. Hailing from Switzerland, Jean-Pierre Schenk (vocals, keyboards, bass and drums), Oliver Guenat and Roger Burri (guitars) are forming this trio known as Metamorphosis.
This album, simply called Dark, is the band's fourth release. Their previous work is said to be more directly inspired by Pink Floyd and I would have wished for the same type of inspiration on this one. Dark is supposedly more personal that the other three discs. I could still feel that Pink Floyd-ish touch, perhaps mixed a bit with Alan Parson's Project on the side. Actually, Dark is not too bad as such, just decent. It is interesting, without being thrilling. I'm having also a bit of problem with the vocals, for they are too clean, somewhat nasal and lacking emotions. The compositions are pretty generic for progressive music: long musical interludes, guitar solos and ambient/spacey keyboard patterns. The bass sounds too strong and upfront in a few passages, as far as I am concerned. As a whole, Dark is just not challenging enough, although it has its moments. Songs like : "The Fight is Over" and "I'm Waking Up", do have cool progressive elements such as: dark passages with keys, acoustic guitars, musical breaks, and even some heavier parts. After the first half, a feeling of predictability settles, and, for one thing, we know that one or more guitar solos will happen, for instance.
Oh, I wish it was there!
1- Song For my Son
2 - The Fight is Over
3 - Hey Man
4 - Waking Up
5 - Knowing All I Do is Worth Nothing
6 - You
7 - Where Do We Go Now
8 - Dark
Added: May 31st 2009
Reviewer: Denis Brunelle
Related Link: Band Website
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Posted by Terry Connolly, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-05-31 13:39:48
Now that's what I'm talking about! Really, music like this is so rare today for me as a listener, melodies and hooks that sink in right from note one. I loved Metamorphosis the very first time I heard " Song For My Son" on netradio. To me, this is what progressive music should be all about, stunning musical vistas, with plenty of heavy crunchy guitar riffs, searing Gilmour-like leads, keyboards that range from airy to moody, intricate drumming and vocals delivered beautifully with deep and thoughtful lyrics to boot. What else can I ask for?
Any album that demands to be replayed a second time after the first complete listen is music that demands special notice. Dark is that and more. I really can't get enough of Dark. (I feel the change coming on, I'm a changing, evolving, into a beautiful ProgRockButterfly) There is not a skip song on this wonderful disc. Check out these wonderful deep lyrics on " Song For My Son" :
Power and money's the aim my son
Betrayal's a virtue
Honesty's no more trend
Don't mind to rule out your friends
What's bad for them is good for you
Learn to lie, don't mind to trick someone
This is how things do work today
Forget your feelings, forget your humanity
This is how THEY make the world turn.
To me, its as if Jean-Pierre Schenk has written words perhaps his father might have told him, if Dad wanted to demonstrate to his son how different the real world is from the loving and warm cocoon provided by Mom and Dad? Or maybe he implies the "Real World" as a Father-figure providing true life advice? Or perhaps this is what he might tell his son about what the real world shows us about what other Dads may actually be telling their own sons? I've often had thoughts like this myself, we all discover the world is quite different then what we imagined it might be once we get to around the 4or6th grade, all of a sudden the "street" becomes such a stark reality. Only then do we begin to see the "Dark" struggle of Life among our peers as it really is, we "metamorph" ourselves, building our own versions of a hardened cocoon-like exterior to protect our inner loving hearts. "Forget your humanity" ? How easy it is to forget "love" in our power and money-mad society today in the 21st century?
I loved Dark just for its terrific music, but to get sublime lyrics like throughout the album is just a wonderful bonus.
From the "Fight is Over", to the sublime drum roll led "Knowing All I Do is Worth Nothing", Dark reached into my musical mind and reached a special area reached by only a very few select bands like Pink Floyd or Porcupine Tree. I have not heard anything else by Metamorphosis, so I am not sure if Dark is an anomaly or not. Just hearing the towering musical abilities streaming out of my speakers on Dark, song after song. Each tune is majestic with a soaring anthem-like quality that is just so exciting and inspiring. I would be very interested in checking out the rest of their catalog.
But I do know for sure, "knowing all Mr Schenk does is worth..." a lot more than "nothing". He does all the vocals, keyboards, virtual "bass" and even the drums. Roger Burri and Olivier Guenat contributed the superb guitar work throughout. Jean-Pierre is clearly a very special talent. David Gilmour is without doubt a key influence, but Schenk brings Gilmour and the Floyd sound to another unique level. Not a higher level but a different level, somewhere way out there. Out there in the Dark.
5 Stars! (6 actually)
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